Elections: Russians out of love with Putin, Egyptian runoffs begin

High turnout in Egypt, with new Islamist group taking 24%

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Russians appear to be falling out of love with former leader Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and turnout has been high, 62 percent, in Egyptian voting as parts of the country move into runoffs in a complex voting system.

Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has enjoyed almost unrivaled popularity for the past 10 years, but early election results appear to show a change of heart by voters, with the party’s majority in parliament disappearing.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, described by Business Week as “broad-based”, is expected to win the largest number of seats in the first elections since Hosni Mubarak’s long reign of power ended early in 2011. But the conservative, Islamist Salafi Nour party, a newcomer, secured 24 percent of early results, surprising observers with its strong showing. The country now faces runoffs in several voting areas; results from the country’s complex voting system will not be known until January 2012.

Links to other sites: Al Jazeera, Business Week, Guardian, Reuters